Ten tips: What you should look out for when ordering from Temu

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Hardly any other online shopping platform has risen as quickly as Temu. Founded in mid-2022, it is now almost impossible to avoid it online. This is mainly due to aggressive advertising; the company has even made several Super Bowl commercials this year, most likely worth several million dollars.

If you look at the app downloads, this has paid off. The Android app was downloaded over 100 million times on Google Play. In the Apple charts of the top shopping apps in Austria, it is in first place, ahead of Spar, DM, or Amazon apps.

Looking around Temu, you quickly realize that the platform’s main selling point is its low prices. There are also numerous supposed discount offers and special promotions to entice customers. It’s easy to be tempted to save a few euros here. We have included a few things you should consider when ordering from Temu.

10 tips for shopping in Temu

  1. Temu is not a retailer
    When you buy something from Temu, you are not entering into a purchase contract with the company. Instead, you buy directly from merchants who offer their goods there. This resembles how eBay, Amazon Marketplace, or Temu’s competitor, AliExpress, work. The portal onlinesicherheit.gv.at also warns that this makes it extremely difficult to enforce your rights if there are problems with the delivery of the products.
  2. Everything comes from China
    Temu was created to bring Western consumers together with stores in China. This also means that all goods on Temu are shipped directly from China. However, Temu organizes the shipping. Even if you buy from 10 different retailers on the platform, everything is delivered in a large Temu box. Shipping directly from the Far East means longer shipping times than you might be used to from Amazon. In practice, you have to expect just under 2 weeks for delivery. As most goods are flown in by air freight, shopping on Temu is anything but environmentally or climate-friendly.
  3. The customs issue
    Although the goods come from China, you don’t have to deal with customs or import sales tax. This is possible via the electronic system IOSS (Import One Stop Shop). Customers pay the corresponding amount when the purchase is completed. The fact that the amount has been paid is then noted in the import documents for the parcel. There are usually no further charges upon delivery.
  4. Don’t get stressed
    When you open Temu, you are almost bombarded with “lightning offers,” expiring countdowns, and “limited quantities.”. This has little to do with reality, just like the often utopian “instead” prices. You will still be able to find the products at very similar prices the following day or even weeks later, even if they are “almost sold out.”. So you should think carefully about whether you need a particular item. And even if the goods you have in your shopping cart are no longer listed, you will likely find the same product elsewhere at a similar price.
  5. Uses English as the language
    If you access Temu from a German-speaking country, the page language is automatically set to German. However, these are primarily automated translations, so many article names are inaccurate. So, if you are reasonably proficient in English, you should also use Temu in English. The article names and descriptions are usually more meaningful, and you won’t be surprised by phrases like “Cool Icy Breathable Fingerless Gloves.”
  6. Check other platforms
    It is often worth looking for the same product on other platforms, like Amazon or AliExpress. Chinese retailers offer the same goods via several channels, sometimes at different prices. However, it is not only worth looking at other stores to compare prices; reviews can also differ on the various platforms.
  7. The thing about quality – even in Temu, retailers have nothing to give away. A cheap product is, therefore, usually also cheaply made. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find one or two attractive offers on the platform. However, you should check the ratings before ordering. Many reviews and many sales are usually a positive sign. It is also worth paying attention to brands. Even if you are unfamiliar with the brand in question, you can Google it or check what else is offered under the same name and what the reviews of other items look like.
  1. Be particularly careful with electrical appliances
    You should be careful if you buy electrical appliances or batteries from Temu. There is no guarantee that the products will meet European safety standards. In the past, there have already been several cases of products sold there posing a fire risk. However, this problem also exists with other retailers if you order directly from China.
  2. Counterfeits are also on offer. Counterfeit goods are also a problem in Temu. Often, attempts are even made to disguise this. For example, the well-known logo on the clothing product images is falsified or cut out completely. But when the goods arrive, the logo is still there. In the worst-case scenario, you could face civil and criminal prosecution if you knowingly order counterfeit goods online. This can also be punished with a heavy fine. However, this risk is primarily theoretical
  3. Returns and warranty: Temu offers free returns for an order within 90 days. However, only once. This means you will incur costs if you want to return several products from an order separately. If you want to make warranty or guarantee claims for products for a longer period, you generally have to be prepared for low chances of success.

Ultimately, ordering on Temu, as with other Chinese online retailers, is a game of chance. This means you always have to assume that something will not fit or that there could be problems. So, it’s better to stick with retailers based in Austria or the EU regarding particularly high-priced goods.

  • source: futurezone.at/picture: temu.com
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